By Justin Grady

Portland, OR USA — I was lucky to photograph and rock out with JPNSGRLS (pronounced “Japanese Girls”) during their west coast tour Portland stop for their new album DIVORCE. They are a full-tilt rock band with lead singer Charlier Kerr, bassist Christopher McClelland, drummer Graham Serl, and guitarist Colton Lauro.  Their style is full of angst, prog rock rhythm, theatrics and fun.

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Band chilling before the true fun starts

I strolled into Firkin, your typical dive music bar, grungy, cheap beer, and loud bands. There were some dudes playing the pool table and my buddy David was already there.  Those dudes happened to be the band.

We hit it off pretty quick, I gave them the rundown that I am a Canadian Indie fan who lives here in Oregon and told them about Our Basement, they were excited to hear it.

I wanted to know more about JPNSGRLS’ background and we headed out to the back patio.

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Guitarist Colton Lauro and drummer Graham Serl

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Videographer David Fyfe and bassist Chris McClelland

They all gave me an overview of other bands to watch from the Vancouver BC area.

They were totally friendly and welcoming from the start; even offering to help the other band by sharing equipment.

Tonight’s show was Portland, and then they are heading South, here is their full tour schedule.  They will be back in Bend, Oregon later in the month so I’ll try to catch them then too.

Two bands opened, Arrow which had a ‘The Cure’ type sound, and then Butter, which was rock.  It was cool, bassist Chris McClelland was helping out Butter with the sound board, a nice bunch of dudes.

While enjoying Butter we all, the band, myself, and David, the videographer, all hung out at a back table shooting the breeze and my cousin stopped on by too for a drink and to meet the band.

JPNSGRLS’ was the main act and it was time to go. In person they put on a hell of a show, just flat out fun.

SONY DSC

SONY DSC

Bassist Chris McClelland and lead singer Charlie Kerr

Bassist Chris McClelland and lead singer Charlie Kerr

Guitarist Colton Lauro and drummer Graham Serl.

Guitarist Colton Lauro and drummer Graham Serl.

Charlie Kerr, vocalist; Graham Serl, drummer; Christopher McClelland, bassist; Colton Lauro, guitarist.

Charlie Kerr, vocalist; Graham Serl, drummer; Christopher McClelland, bassist; Colton Lauro, guitarist.

Then, there is a group photo of all of us, which I was excited to be included. Cool band, cool dudes, kick ass rock!

Vocalist Charlie Kerr, videographer David Fyfe, drummer Graham Serl, bassist Christopher McClelland, Ourbasement.ca journalist Justin Grady, guitarist Colton Lauro.

Vocalist Charlie Kerr, videographer David Fyfe, drummer Graham Serl, bassist Christopher McClelland, Ourbasement.ca journalist Justin Grady, guitarist Colton Lauro.

These guys rocked Firkin and are totally worth the effort to see when they pass through your town.